Jimmy Fallon Likes It-It Must Be Cool

In USA on June 10, 2011 by Candice Tagged: , , , , , ,

The Late Show with Jimmy Fallon

The Late Show with Jimmy Fallon

Many people watched as Stephen Colbert made his much-anticipated debut of the song “Friday” on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. The performance was the culmination of the Fallon Colbert Project, an initiative by the comedians to raise money for charity. During the hilarious performance-which included Hyper Color sweatshirts (way cool), dancers, and the always-exciting American Idol winner, Taylor Hicks-there was a random man holding a strange symbol in the air. Technologically savvy types knew this to be a QR code, or Quick Response code.

This technology comes from Japan, and they are extremely common there. The codes consist of a black and white pattern that is encoded with information that when scanned by a reader on a Smartphone, can take the user to a URL, video, or even offer a coupon for the user to use at a retailer. This technology has potential benefits for businesses, non-profit organizations, political campaigns and even musical acts.

In this instance, Jimmy Fallon used it to link to a video thanking fans for all of their donations-sort of a secret encoded message. It brings to mind the movie A Christmas Story where the main character gets a secret decoder from a cereal box and anxiously listens to a certain radio program each week for another clue. The clues were an elaborate marketing campaign for the cereal. The possibilities for similar strategies are endless.

The technology is great for another reason. It appeals to two specific traits in human nature: curiosity and laziness. People will love the fact that they can simply scan the code and it will take them directly to relevant info. Plus, QR codes have a level of mystery that a URL doesn’t. Once a Smartphone user discovers what they are, they are hard to resist.

In case you missed it, here’s the performance:

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon – Stephen Colbert Sings ‘Friday’ with The Roots (4/1/11) – Video –

One Response to “Jimmy Fallon Likes It-It Must Be Cool”

  1. I was glad to see someone pick the topic of QR codes to write about, and you’re right that the Jimmy Fallon example is a great one to demonstrate the potential power of this as a marketing tool. I also liked your analogy to the cereal box decoder campaign – the pyschology behind both is certainly similar. You nailed it when you shared your point that it appeals to curiosity in human nature – though I’m not sure QR codes appeal to the laziest of us, since they do require a reader application which many less tech savvy people either won’t have or won’t know how to use even if they do have it.

    Regardless, some of the bigger points about QR-codes seemed to be missing from this post. Who else is using them and what are they trying to do with them? Did you uncover any data on whether their usage is rising? Do you have a reference link for your point that they started in Japan and are extremely common there?

    For those unfamiliar with what a QR code looks like, that would have been a great image to include in this post as well – just to give the reader an immediate look at one.

    Without these elements, it was the great beginning to a post, but not quite offering the full story about why you feel QR codes are truly important and why they represent a real trend instead of just a great campaign as part of a popular late night talk show. (3)

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